By Gaurav Pradhan
Social Media is growing at a rapid pace along with advent of Internet and Technology. We are witnessing a social media platform almost every 6 months. The number of social network users worldwide has grown significantly from 0.97 million in 2010 to 1.61 million in 2013. It is expected to touch a staggering 2.33 million users by the end of 2017. As the numbers are growing, so is the concerns for Privacy in these platforms are growing. Many countries around the world are trying to come up with standard laws to protect the user privacy.
One such exemplary Act came into existence in the state of California, United States – ‘Social Media Privacy Act’ . This act is operational since Jan 1, 2013. California declared demanding of social media passwords as unacceptable and an invasion of personal privacy.
Inception of the Act
This act was conceptualized because of rising unwarranted invasions in social media accounts. Many employers were asking the job applicants to provide passwords of their private Facebook accounts in order to gather more knowledge of the applicant. Similar cases were reported with student applicants for some colleges and universities. When Associated Press brought this issue to the world purview, The Californian Government took proactive measures.
They passed two bills on September 27th, 2012, Assembly Bill 1844 and Senate Bill 1349. Assembly Bill 1844 provides protection to job applicants and employees from unwarranted invasions by prohibiting the employers from demanding your e-mail and social media passwords. Similarly, Senate Bill 1349 provides protection to students and applicants from unwarranted invasions by prohibiting the colleges and universities from demanding your e-mail and social media passwords.
Other Places with Online Privacy Acts
Maryland was the first state to advocate online privacy by passing the social media legislation in May 2012, enabling protection for employee’s digital privacy. In August 2012, similar legislation was by Illinois. New Jersey and Michigan are also following this path and trying to devise a similar act.
Michigan is coming up with a comprehensive act similar to California. This will increase the states count to 6, which are advocating Online Privacy.
What Others should learn
Online Privacy is a concern around the globe. Violation of online privacy happens in many countries. The countries should come up with stringent laws against violations of Online Privacy and preserving the interests of users’ digital privacy. The established acts can be a good reference for helping them devise the laws, also considering the local legislation factors. Countries should unite at international level, providing a platform for building standard Online Privacy Laws which can be applicable around the globe. This will require a great deal of collaboration along with preserving the national interests.
“Online Privacy is going to be a Global Challenge, and The World should be well-prepared to face it.”
(Author is a Management student of IIM Bangalore having an experience in Manufacturing Industry, Follow On Twitter @GauravToYou)
California Social Media Privacy Laws Give Students, Employees Online Rights – ACLU – https://www.aclu.org/blog/technology-and-liberty/california-social-media-privacy-laws-give-students-employees-online
California takes the lead in comprehensive social media privacy protection – Lexology – http://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=b42d7fde-78f9-4ba2-b739-4723489b87de
Big Problems in California’s New Law Restricting Employers’ Access to Employees’ Online Accounts – Forbes – http://www.forbes.com/sites/ericgoldman/2012/09/28/big-problems-in-californias-new-law-restricting-employers-access-to-employees-online-accounts/
Social Media : Upcoming News Media – Social Media Trend – https://www.socialmediatrend.in/users/social-media-upcoming-news-media/
Improving Social Media Security – Social Media Trend – https://www.socialmediatrend.in/users/improving-social-media-security/